Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 fantasy film directed by newcomer Rupert Sanders. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Cherlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth. There is defintily more style to the film then substance. However, the film isn’t as shallow as it would first appear. It does some very interesting things with the evil queen’s back story. Charlize Theron steals every scene she is in. Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth do the best with what they’re given, but they’re largely archetypal compared to Kristen’s Stewart’s fascinatingly broken queen.
The film is worth watching alone for its imaginative portrayal of magic. There’s a scene for instance, where the evil queen slowly drags herself from a pile of raven ichor until she slowly solidifies into a woman once again. She doesn’t rise magically or form from a mist… She has to painfully drag her broken body from a pile of corpses. Her magic is dirty, bloody, primal and comes at a drastic cost.
Overall, the film isn’t a study on the human condition, but it isn’t a shallow special effects fest either. Want to hear more? Listen to the podcast below!
Eragon is a 2006 film based on the book series The Inheritance Trilogy by Christopher Paolini. The movie was touted as the beginning of this epic trilogy, but there was never a trilogy because the first movie kind of sucked. The movie is about a young guy who finds a dragon and then rides it into battle against the forces of evil. This should have made a pretty decent movie, but the plot is a mess. When it’s not being generic it’s confusing the hell out of the viewer. Kasey watched the movie three times and was still unsure who the bad guys actually are. Still, the movie is worth watching once for the sheer awesomeness of the dragon visuals. The cgi holds up well, and the visual design of the evil dragon is badass. Riding dragons is portrayed in a real jaw dropping way. It’s fun to watch the movie and simply insert yourself into Eragon’s place riding a totally awesome dragon who is your BFF FOR EVAH while you kill some evil dudes.
Because come on, you know you’ve day dreamed that before.
Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 Disney animated film that is part of the Disney Renaissance. It is an adaption of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast. This version is quite different from the original, but still keeps the essential themes of looking beyond the surface and not judging a book by its cover.
Melanie likes the film and Kasey doesn’t. On one hand, it’s a very beautifully animated film that’s rich in detail. The themes it portrays are universal and it has a good message for children to learn. On the other hand… Belle is such a Mary Sue. A completely and totally Mary freakin Sue. And the couple fall deeply in love in like a week. Sure that’s improvement upon love at first sight but…
What do you think of Beauty and the Beast? Was Kasey’s hate for Belle justified? Do you think it portrays positive values or does it just reinforce negative gender stereotypes? Does Gaston’s friend Lafou really have a gay crush on him? Let us know what you think!
Kasey and Melanie have just made a guest appearance on Podcast Squared episode #89 Happy Sad. Podcast Squared is a podcast dedicated to discussing and reviewing other podcasts. We are amazingly funny. It may be the best interview ever given in the history of humanity. Listening to this could change your life. I guarantee it would cure baldness and allow you to reach a new level of enlightment.
This time around we review the 1977 animated film The Hobbit. The Hobbit was adapted from a 1937 Tolkien book of the same name by Rankin-Bass. Rankin-Bass were the same production/creative team that also created The Last Unicorn, and all of the stop motion holiday classics that ABC Family shoves down Americans throats every winter.
This production was a made for TV movie for children and it shows in the final product. The animation is stilted and the movie does its best to avoid showing violence while still oddly implying it. The budget restraints of a made for TV movie are pretty apparent. The animation is stilted and a large scale war between multiple armies is depicted like a giant dust cloud. However, there was obvious love for the source material in the production. The art design is quite nice. Top Craft, the Japanese studio the animation was filmed at, created some really beautiful hand painted backgrounds. They production company also respected the source material and didn’t try to add to or dramatically change the story. Despite it’s short comings, they did the best they could with a TV movie’s budget and time.
Should you see this? If you’ve read The Hobbit before by all means go for it. It makes a fun diversion while waiting for the Peter Jackson version. If you haven’t read the books give it a pass and wait for the live action movies.
Kasey has just made a guest host appearance on Lee and Dan’s Midnight Movie Club! There she discusses the 1983 fantasy movie Krull which was disapointingly not about barbarians. It sounds like it should be a movie involving dudes in loinclothes right? But alas, there are no dudes in loin clothes. There is a cyclops, magical horses, marriage rites involving fire, kids choosing puppies over dead relatives, and a horny evil lizard man.
The Addams Family Values is a 1993 sequel to the 1991 Addams Family film. All of the actors from the previous film reprise their roles plus there’s a brand new Addams baby. The Addams new baby is a dark haired chubby cheeked baby boy that is somehow born with a mustache. In addition, a buxom blond serial killer, played by Joan Cusak, is after Uncle Fester’s life and money. The Addams also make the mistake of sending Wednesday and Pugsley to summer camp. Stuff gets set on fire.
This is a shorter episode than normal. We recorded an hour of podcast, but I guess twenty minutes of that was just us going ‘uhhhhh, ummmm’. This is a great movie that surpasses the first movie. This is one of the rare instances that a sequel is better than the original. The extremely sturdy baby is a hilarious edition and all of the actors bring their A game. The casting is so perfect. Christini Ricci definitely steals the show though as Wednesday Addams. The camp play her and Pugsley are in is the thing of legends. There’s some great satire hidden in here too along with all of the morbidly hilarious jokes. If you liked the last Addams Family movie you”ll love this one.
Merlin, aka. The Adventures of Merlin, is a British television show that started in 2008. It stars Colin Morgan as a young Merlin who must hide his magical powers because Camelot has outlawed all magic on threat of death. He spends his time secretly protecting Arthur and Camelot in hopes that Arthur will someday grow into a great King.
This review is for season (or series) 3 and 4 of Merlin. If you have not seen season 1 and 2 I encouraged you to check out our season 1-2 review or simply go watch the show. This episode does not even attempt to describe the premise of Merlin and completely spoils all of season three and four. So beware! This is no holds barred magical Arthurian spoiler time!
This television series just keeps getting better! The show makes a steady incline in quality throughout season three until its a really great show in season four. Does that make up for some of the lack luster episodes in season one? Yes, actually. I think it does. Many aspects of Arthur’s character development are finally barring fruit in season four that had seeds planted way back in season one. Merlin himself still has lots of room to grow, but he’s shown some welcome steps into becoming more pro-active instead of reactive (and ignoring Gaius’s terrible advice). Hopefully, in season five we’ll finally see him become the warlock of legend.
The series does have some problems, mostly involving Morganna’s strange character development. In season three, they take some dramatic shortcuts in her development. While its certainly plausible, the show doesn’t bother explaining or even showing the path it took her to reach her new persona. Furthermore, she doesn’t appear to have any remnants of her old persona at all. There’s some weird slippery slope fallacies going on there and odd inconsistencies. I wonder if this was because the writers were so determined to follow the path of the actual Arthurian legends? Who knows, but she’s definitely the weakest link in season three and four.
We highly recommend you check out this series. Make sure to start from the beginning though! If you watched season one and two and are on the fence about watching more, we think you should reconsider. The series gets continually better and really rewards long time listeners.
This episode was original recorded in 2009 as two separate episodes. When the podcast changed from The Power of Friendship Podcast to The Fantasy Movie Podcast a couple of years ago I took several episodes out. They were taken out because I thought it was weird that The Fantasy Movie Podcast had several episodes in a row that had nothing to do with fantasy movies. I had always intended to sporadically rerelease them, but for some reason I forgot all about them! So here are two of them. They’re edited together due to their short lengths and similar topics.
– Part I – Shojo Anime/Manga –
Melanie and Kasey discuss their overall opinion on shojo manga. It isn’t particularly positive. Shojo manga is full of wimpy crying heroines and often is disturbingly sexist. Most disturbingly is the unhealthy relationships they often support. The jerk often gets the girl even if he’s roughed her up a bit or threatened her life.
They also are almost always solely focused on romance. Shonen titles can have romance too, but they also come in variety of genres. Romance can be a subplot. Shojo manga usually doesn’t get the luxury.
Kasey doesn’t hate all romance by the way, despite what this episode may lead you to believe, lol.
Not all shojo manga and anime sucks though. Kasey highly recommends Basara and Melanie likes the yaoi comic Yami no Matsui. They both agree that the Josei titles Nodame Cantabile and Tramps like Us are great.
Re-editing this episode made me a little sad. In one part you can hear my long dead dog in the background…
– Part II – Anime Expiration Date –
Is there an age expiration date for anime fandom? Do most fans drop out of anime fandom in their late twenties and early thirties? Or do they just stop talking on the internet about it?
We know for sure there is less and less anime made that we actually enjoy and want to watch. Is that our age showing or are they just not making shows that appeal to a wider audience anymore?
What about you? Do you think an anime fan expiration date exists?
Tinman is a 2007 Syfy Miniseries directed by Nick Willing. It is loosley based on L. Frank Baum’s Oz book series. Very loosely.
The miniseries has great production values, intriguing writing, and most of the cast are talented. Zooey Deschanel gives an odd almost autistic portrayal of the main character D.J. I’m not sure if she was directed that way or if it’s just Zooey Deschanel being Zooey Deschanel. The rest of the cast is fantastic, particularly Neal McDonough and Kathleen Robertson.
The world building rivals a Hollywood film. Everything in the world, from the steampunk technology to the rare glimpse of magic fits well into the world. The technology, politics, history, etc of the O.Z. is well thought out and has its own internal logic. The world feels like it could really work.
The miniseries updates the world of the O.Z (pronounced ‘Oh Zee’) without disrespecting the original. There are a lot of homages to the original books and films some obvious, some not. You can tell there’s a real reverence to the source material.
The miniseries is easy to obtain. It’s often on Netflix Instant Watch in the U.S. and readily available on blu ray and DVD in most countries. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.